CP auto mall to gain new neighbor in HAPO credit union

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HAPO Community Credit Union has purchased property on Commercial Drive for a new College Place branch, officials announced Tuesday.

A construction scheduled has yet to be finalized, as has the ground-breaking schedule. Richland-based HAPO will build at 1225 S.E. Commercial Drive, which is near the current construction site of the new Gilbert Auto mall.

The branch is one of two in the works for an expanding HAPO. The other is in Hermiston. Groundbreaking for that branch at 1905 N. First St. is planned for June. The opening of the Hermiston branch is slated for November.

The opening of that facility is the credit union's first expansion outside of Washington state, HAPO President and CEO David Schulz said in a prepared statement.

"It is very gratifying that our successes and financial strength continue, which allow us to expand our services to these two communities," he said.

HAPO operates a mortgage division in Walla Walla at 17 N. Second Ave. The credit union has 11 locations in Washington with about 90,000 members.

The drive is on for dresses that dazzle.

The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center is gathering gowns this week for Cinderella's Closet, the program that provides formal wear to girls throughout the Walla Walla Valley who could not otherwise afford to attend their prom.

The drive by the downtown Walla Walla hotel has been dubbed "50 Dresses in 5 Days." Hotel employees hope to collect that 50 new or gently used dresses by Friday. As of Day 2, four dresses had been collected.

Dresses of all sizes are needed, and donations are accepted at the hotel, 6 W. Rose St., anytime during this week. For more information, call 525-2200. Those interested can follow the progress via the hotel's Facebook page or blog.

A couple of wineries may be on the move around downtown Walla Walla, according to recent posts from Walla Walla Wine News, an online resource for wine and tasting room operations throughout the Valley

According to updates on the operation's social networking sites, the former home of Nicholas Cole Cellars at the five-way intersection of Main and Palouse streets may become a shared space between Caprio Cellars and Drew Bledsoe's Doubleback winery. There's also buzz of a move by Kerloo Cellars into the Second Avenue spot formerly occupied by Sleight of Hand Cellars. The latter moved to 1959 JB George Road, next to Saviah Cellars. Its grand opening was last weekend. Kerloo has also had an address on JB George, but could make downtown its new home.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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